Strengths and Gifting. The name "Sender" is from a the Hebrew form of Alexander, which means protector. (Alexander was the name of my Jewish grandfather, who died when Hannah was just 6 months old.) Since he was born, I have prayed that he will always be a protector of others. Well, it seems that his physical attributes and personality may fit those prayers. At every age of development, he has been bigger than either of his siblings, and he is the most rough and tumble of our three kids. For example, just today, he was jumping from the couch to the ottoman to my back as I was laying on the floor. Also, a couple of months ago I accidentally kicked him in the head with a soccer ball; he was sent sprawling, but quickly got up and told me to do it again. He is outgoing, loves to play, and seemingly has no fear. And he cracks us up with his slapstick humor, like running full speed into closed doors. Like a typical preschooler, he struggles with being obedient. This, of course, stems from his sin nature, but is made worse by us giving him too many freedoms.
God's Call. I've already outlined a core definition of manhood in the post about Elijah. I won't repeat it in full here, but I will give the language that we use for biblical masculinity.
- Reject Passivity
- Accept Responsibility
- Lead Courageously
- Expect God's Reward
- Begin to use the language of what it means to be a man (as given above). He won't understand it all, of course, but it's important for him to begin hearing the language.
- We need to be more consistent in disciplining him. He needs to learn that God wants him to obey and follow, and it's up to us to be the primary agents in this. Sender can never be the leader God wants him to be unless he learns to submit himself to authority now. Watch this video, from Pastor Bill White, from a question we received at the Future Men event (October 30, 2009).
- Going along with this, we need to give him clear and narrow parameters and boundaries. At this point in his life, he needs virtually zero options.
- Help him grow in understanding of who God is, through consistently teaching him from God's word. This can be done with a good storybook Bible, through discussing our Preschool Curriculum (which focuses on the attributes of God), and even just non-structured talking about a biblical perspective on life (as described in Deuteronomy 6).
-- Joey Espinosa